By: Simone Siew || 1/26/17
Women in Business’s spring Conference is the culmination of women leadership, passion, and success. Each year Women in Business hosts a two day conference comprised of a series of invigorating panels, workshops, and speakers that embolden us to be the strong women we are.
This year our executive board is comprised of six incredible seniors, and they are about to take on their last Conference before they face the world outside of Kelley. We wanted to find out what Conference means to them, and this is what they had to say:
Ellie Bonanno, President – “Conference is one of my favorite times of the year. There is so much hype and excitement surrounding it in the months and weeks leading up to the weekend. I love the new energy that each committee brings each year and that the themes, speakers, and set up are constantly changing.
Conference is a reminder that I'm here for something more than a degree. I'm here to connect with incredible people following their dreams. I'm here to learn about myself and what I can bring to the table. I'm here to decide what I really want in life and wholeheartedly follow it.”
Elizabeth Settle, Vice President of Networking – “I love the Conference themes. It's funny how just a few words can be so powerful and inspiring. WIB Conference has always centered the weekend long event around such moving themes. In my time with WIB we have seen "Have it All", "(Re)defining Success", and "Fearless". All which have been applicable to lives that we strive to live.
WIB Conference is a source of inspiration each and every year. WIB is so fortunate to have exposure to such amazing and respected women in the business world that feel compelled enough to share their story with us.”
Jamie Baer, Vice President of Outreach – “The day of Conference is one of the best days to be a member of WIB. I feel such a strong sense of pride of my WIB peers when I look around and observe the months of planning that went into the creation of our organization's largest, highest-budget event. One of my favorite parts of the Conference weekend is the keynote speaker. Not only I am impressed by the individuals who agree to speak at our event, but I'm also proud to be part of an organization that has a strong professional reputation to attract such people. I also enjoy the keynote speaker part of the event because our organization invites all members of the Kelley and IU community to join us. I love seeing my friends there who are not in WIB with me because I'm proud of what I'm a part of and the fact that we are sharing such a cool event with everyone.
I was an Associate on the Conference committee during my sophomore year in WIB. We started planning Conference the summer before the big day (in February), so I was able to participate in the progression of the event from the initial theme brainstorming to the room reservations to the actual event. I learned so much about time management, long-term planning, and crisis management that year. I remember being intimidated by the task of planning Conference at the beginning of the school year, but under the guidance of my amazing Directors Caroline Dusenberry and Gretchen Kohler, I learned how to separate the task into manageable chunks and work together with my other associates to accomplish tasks.”
Meggie Christopher, Vice President of Finance – “What I love so much about Conference (and especially what I've loved so far this year) is seeing it go from just an idea during the summer to full execution in the spring. SO much goes into the planning of Conference, and it is so exciting to see how the committee pours their hearts and souls into the planning process to produce such an amazing result for the rest of the organization. I particularly saw this process my sophomore year when Elizabeth Settle and Jamie Baer were on the Conference committee. They stayed up late the night before making sure the table decorations were perfect. Seeing how much work went into the event behind the scenes and how that translates to such meaningful and memorable experiences for our members is just incredible, and makes me so happy to see. I can't wait to see how this year turns out. I am sure it will be nothing short of amazing, and our younger members especially will be blown away!”
Annalise Wenig, Vice President of Communications – “I always love Conference pre-night. You can feel everyone’s excitement as we prepare for a weekend of personal and professional growth. Because Conference is WIB’s biggest event of the year, it almost feels like Christmas Eve.
Conference gives me an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and changes I’ve gone through in the last year. It’s a time to set goals and get a new perspective on what I want to achieve. Most importantly, Conference has taught be to take a step back from the day-to-day and look at the big picture. It has helped me gain perspective on the opportunities that have been given to me (like attending such an amazing school, and being a part of something like WIB) and also the challenges that I will face (like being a woman in the professional world). And of course Conference lets me do all of this while surrounded but many other talented and intelligent women who are going through the same things. Conference reminds me again and again how fortunate I am.
Maria Grosdidier, Vice President of Membership – “Conference is a time to be inspired and grow from those around you. I love having the opportunity to talk with a variety of companies and learn about their lives in the real world. Our keynote speakers are always amazing as well; they give me the courage to know that anything is possible. If I want to start my own company, I can. If I want to be a CEO, I can. To be able to be exposed to that level of professionalism and learning at our age is unreal.
Each year, Conference is different and fresh. New theme, new speakers, new focal points, new companies, etc. I have gotten an extremely well rounded idea of what it is like to be a professional in the business world and how to go about it as a woman.”
Women in Business’s spring conference is on February 17th and 18th. Conference is open to the public on February 18th, and we encourage all to attend what will be an exciting day of leadership and growth.